TITLE: Might & Reason: The Great Battles of the 18th Century in Miniature
AUTHOR: Sam Mustafa
PUBLISHER: Sam Mustafa Publishing
PUBLICATION DATE: 2007
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PRICE (with date): $17.00 (in 2013) PDF Only
REVIEWED BY: Mark “Extra Crispy” Severin
PERIOD COVERED: The Seven Years War and the War of Austrian Succession
Might & Reason (M&R) is a paperback of 82 pages. The rules themselves cover 34 pages. The book is mostly black and white with a few pages of color featuring specific miniature ranges and examples of play. There are numerous diagrams and examples throughout. The book is attractively laid out, and the rules follow a logical sequence.
M&R is a grand tactical game designed for recreating complete battles of the 18th century. Scenarios are designed at either 1”=150 yards, or 1”=100 yards.
A smallish army might have 12 or 13 units, while a larger scenario might call for an army twice that size.
Each unit in M&R represents a brigade of about 4 battalions, or the equivalent thereof. Cavalry units represent approximately 10 squadrons. The units are representative and not literal owing to the highly variable force structures of the armies of the period.
- Ground Scale: One inch = 100 or 150 yards as needed.
- Time scale 1 turn = roughly 30 minutes
- Figure/Base Ratio 1 infantry base = 2 battalions
- Recommended Figure Size: Any. The rule book features diagrams with 25, 15, and 6 mm figures.
- Table Size: 4x6 for smaller scenarios, 4x8 or larger for bigger battles.
- Game Length: Most games should be playable in one evening.
In M&R infantry and cavalry units are two bases. For 20 mm or smaller figures, bases 50 x 25 mm are recommended. Artillery would be based on 50 mm square bases and officers on 25 mm square bases. For larger figures the base sizes are 50 mm x 100 mm for artillery, 50 mm square for all others.
Note: All measurements in M&R are in terms of Base Widths (BWs). If your infantry base frontage is 50 mm then one base width = 50 mm.
- Command Phase: players roll for initiative, check to see if the turn ends, and roll for Command Dice (CDs).
- Musketry: The side with initiative fires, followed by his opponent.
- Artillery fire: Artillery fire is resolved simultaneously
- 1st Side Phasing: The 1st player makes command checks, moves eligible units and resolves combats
- 2nd side Phasing: The 2nd player now makes command checks, moves eligible units and resolves combats
- Remove Suppression markers
The Command Dice System: Players familiar with the author’s Napoleonic rule set Grande Armee will recognize the Command Dice as “Command Points” from that game. Basically a commander obtains a number of Command Dice based on his overall ability. The commander then spends these dice to activate subordinates, re-roll certain dice, to move or to influence a recovery attempt. Although the author suggests using dice, these dice are never rolled, so you could as easily use chits or other markers.
Movement: Movement in M&R is more ponderous than in Grande Armee. There are only two formations: Movement and Fighting. It takes an entire turn to change formation, so maneuver takes advanced planning. Terrain is either clear, rough, impassable or town. Units may move obliquely, wheel and retrograde.
Morale Rating: There is no separate morale per se in M&R. Both morale and numbers are combined in a single “Strength Point.” At 0 SP your unit has become worthless in combat, whether to casualties or loss of morale or both. Units of higher morale have higher SPs per 1000 men than units of lower morale. Player may mark hits on units with a marker or use a roster.
Artillery Fire: Artillery units fire with 1 or 2 dice. Based on range and gun type they must roll equal to or higher than a given number to cause one hit. Artillery require a field of fire one BW wide. They cannot fire over or through friendly units, and may not use canister close to friendly units. Canister has a shorter range but also is easier to score hits with than roundshot.
Musketry: Based on range and unit type, players roll one die for every 1 or 2 strength points. A 6 is needed to score a hit. You must be in fighting formation and in command to fire. Maximum range is 2BW.
Melee: Melee is resolved between units in base to base contact. there is no “charge.” One simply moves into base contact. However, in order to do so with infantry you must stop and fire at your target before you can close. This means you have to move into musketry range in one turn, then fire and close in the next.
Each player rolls one die, and adds to it his unit’s SPs. Other modifiers for leadership, flanking etc. are also added. In some cases a unit will get an extra die (for example, when heavy cavalry is opposing light cavalry). If one side’s total is twice their opponents, they have own the close combat - the enemy unit is broken and removed from the table. Otherwise, the combat is inconclusive. The side with the higher total loses 1SP per unit, the lower 2SP per unit, and the attacker falls back one BW.
It is possible to have multiple contacts. In these cases as combats are fought, units must split their SPs between enemy units. It is therefore possible that a unit contacts two enemy units. It loses the first melee and falls back. As a result there is no second melee as the units are no longer in contact.
The book contains a good deal of very useful supplemental material. There are two scenarios (Warburg and Zorndorf). There is a points system for pick-up games with army lists, leader ratings for all countries, and not one but TWO campaign systems!
The first campaign system, the Kleiner Feldung, is a DIY kit for recreating a campaign on one area over one season. A sample campaign for Kolin, 1757 is included. The second system, the Grand Campaign system, is designed to be used in conjunction with the boardgame “Soldier Kings” from Avalanche Press.
Both systems allow you to maneuver on the operational map, and then fight the battles using M&R. A random map generation system is also included.